Part One – The Red Army
Part Two – German Women In French & American Occupied Territory
The Soviet soldiers were not the only ones who raped German women. The French Senegalese and Moroccan troops were notorious for committing rape. Police records of Stuttgart show that 1,198 German women were raped by French troops during the French occupation. Dr. Karl Hartenstein, prelate of the Evangelical church in the city, estimated a higher number of 5,000 rape victims in Stuttgart. In the town of Vaihingen, with a population of 12,000, 500 cases of rape were reported. So it went in other German cities and towns occupied by French troops.
Charles Lindbergh was told by an Army officer that there were over 6,000 cases of rape reported in Stuttgart and that the Germans were crying for the Americans to come in and replace the French. Lindbergh writes:
“I had been told that in French-occupied territory it was required that a list of the occupants of every building, together with their ages, be posted outside, on the door, and that both the Senegalese and the French soldiers, drunk at night, would go from door to door until they found girls’ names listed of any age they wished to rape. As we drove through Stuttgart we saw that each main door of the habitable buildings contained such a list—white sheets of paper tacked onto the panel—a column of names, a column of birth dates. And most of the women of Stuttgart show in their faces that they have gone through hell.”
In Germany as a whole it is estimated that approximately two million German women were raped in the aftermath of the Second World War. This represents more rapes against a defeated enemy than any other war in history.
The arrival of the Red Army in Austria was also accompanied by sexual violence on a large scale. Stalin informed his troops that Austrians had been the first victims of German aggression, and he stipulated that Soviet troops were to behave correctly toward Austrians. However, the Soviet NKVD in Austria admitted that “there have been cases of excesses by individual members of units of the Red Army against the local population.” In the Steiermark, for example, thousands of women sought medical help after being raped by Soviet soldiers. In the city of Graz more than 600 cases of rape were reported to police—a number which is probably only a fraction of the total sexual assaults that occurred in the city. In Vienna 87,000 women were reported by doctors and clinics to have been raped.
While a large percentage of American troops deported themselves properly, the record of American troops as a whole in regard to German women is hardly exemplary. Rape charges in the U.S. Army rose to 402 in March and 501 in April 1945, as a result of slackening military resistance. Altogether 487 American soldiers in Germany were tried for rapes allegedly committed in March and April 1945.
One reason there were fewer reports of rape by American soldiers is that desperately hungry German women would have consensual sex in exchange for food or cigarettes. Despite Eisenhower’s edict against fraternization with Germans, no orders from above could slow the American soldier’s desire to have sex with German women. American newswoman Freda Utley states,
“Neither army regulations nor the propaganda of hatred in the American press could prevent American soldiers from liking and associating with German women, who although they were driven by hunger to become prostitutes, preserved a certain innate decency.”
American soldiers would offer a basket of food or other presents in order to have sex with the unconditionally surrendered women of Germany. The Christian Century reported on Dec. 5, 1945:
“The American provost marshal, Lt. Colonel Gerald F. Beane, said that rape represents no problem to the military police because ‘a bit of food, a bar of chocolate, or a bar of soap seems to make rape unnecessary.’ Think that over if you want to understand what the situation is in Germany.”
After a visit to the American zone, Dr. George N. Schuster, President of Hunter College, stated:
“You have said it all when you say that Europe is now a place where woman has lost her perennial fight for decency because the indecent alone live. Except for those who can establish contacts with members of the armed forces, Germans can get nothing from soap to shoes.”
L.F. Filewood stated in the Oct. 5, 1945, issue of the Weekly Review in London:
“Young girls, unattached, wander about and freely offer themselves, for food or bed…Very simply they have one thing left to sell, and they sell it…As a way of dying it may be worse than starvation, but it will put off dying for months—or even years.”
German women, many with children to feed, were often forced to become slaves to Allied soldiers in order to survive. A British soldier acknowledged:
“I felt a bit sick at times about the power I had over the girl. If I gave her a three-penny bar of chocolate she nearly went crazy. She was just like my slave. She darned my socks and mended things for me. There was no question of marriage. She knew that was not possible.”
By contrast, the German army behaved very correctly toward the people of occupied territories whose governments were signatories of The Hague and Geneva Conventions. Rape by German soldiers in these territories was strictly forbidden. This has been confirmed by numerous sources and is beyond dispute. For example, after a tour of inspection in which he visited areas where the Germans had been in occupation for four years, Frederick C. Crawford stated in his “Report From the War Front”:
“The Germans tried to be careful in their dealings with the people…We were told that if a citizen attended strictly to business and took no political or underground action against the occupying army, he was treated with correctness.”
 Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, pp. 57, 61.
 Lindbergh, Charles, The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1970, pp. 945, 967-968.
 Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, pp. 51, 55.
 Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 154-155.
 Lowe, Keith, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012, p. 55.
 MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 240.
 Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 161.
 Utley, Freda, The High Cost of Vengeance, Chicago: Regenery, 1949, p. 17.
 Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 64.
 Botting, Douglas, From the Ruins of the Reich—Germany, 1945-1949, New York: Crown Publishers, 1985, p. 294.
 Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, pp. 64-65.